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Municipal election cost jumps

The municipal election of 2013, which saw a record number of candidates and increased voter turnout, cost nearly nine per cent more than the previous Red Deer vote in 2010.

The bill for the election, held in October, was $345,381, up approximately $30,000 from 2010.

Considering that things have grown more expensive in the last three years, the city’s legislative services manager Frieda McDougall said the 2010 and 2013 elections were quite comparable.

The highest election-related costs are for salaries and contracted services, which make up approximately three-quarters of the total cost.

Advertising is the next biggest line item.

A few things from the 2013 election marginally increased costs, among them the presence of the ward system plebiscite question on the ballot and increased advertising done to notify the public about new voter identification requirements.

There were a few more voting stations in new subdivisions and staffing at voting stations was increased slightly in anticipation of a higher turnout and as a recognition that there were some bottlenecks during the 2010 election.

Election costs are shared between the city and the public and Catholic school boards, for whom the city operates the trustees vote.

The city’s portion of the total is $229,974, while the public school division’s bill is $87,341 and the Catholic division is responsible for $44,806. Some of the Catholic division’s costs, relating to its outlying regions, are exclusive.

There was a 31.83 per cent voter turnout for the municipal election, up seven per cent from 2010.

 
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